June 15, 2011 —
Workers from across Sullivan County and the Hudson Valley took part in a Flag Day rally for American workers in Monticello, New York.
The rally was organized by the Hudson Area Labor Federation, which said the events "was held in solidarity with the middle class workers threatened by corporate greed and economic instability."
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther said, “As the daughter of a union member and a former union member myself, I understand the daily struggle that middle class families are facing. There’s something wrong when corporations are making record profits, but working class families can’t make ends meet. There’s something wrong when the wealthiest get tax breaks, and the working class bears the brunt. Every union member standing in Monticello today is standing up for their future and their children’s futures, and I stand with them here in the district and in Albany.”
Thompson supervisor Tony Cellini said, “The town board passed a resolution recently supporting the rights of labor and the protections of collective bargaining. We were recognizing the strong middle class and want to ensure that the US remains a strong economic engine by allowing workers to negotiate for better conditions and pay. We elected officials work to create jobs, but we need you to do the jobs."
“The war on workers has spread to New York State. The Governor is threatening to layoff 9,800 state workers so that we can reduce taxes on millionaires. Today we rally in solidarity with the middle class families under attack,” said Elizabeth Soto, Director of the federation.
“The attacks on firefighters, police officers, corrections officers and teachers are attacks on the American middle class disguised as attacks on organized labor. Today we say, ‘enough is enough!’” said Sandy Shaddock, business agent for Teamsters Local 445, which represents hundreds of people who work for the Sullivan County Government.
“I am sick and tired of the politicians blaming the middle class. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, that has been the way of the world for awhile. It is time for working men and women, who make the wealth of the rich possible, to take their world back!” said Gene Benson, President for the Fallsburg CSEA Unit.
"The Hudson Catskill Central Labor Council stands with workers from Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, and throughout New York State. We also stand in support of the workers of Sullivan County. It is time to challenge the legislators of Sullivan County, to find out if they stand with us," said John O’Malley, President of the Hudson Catskill Central Labor Council.
“Today on Flag Day we will exercise our patriotism and rally in support of workers and the middle class. We will get the truth out about Sullivan County workers who have made salary sacrifices by choosing the public sector. We will not permit the largest group of union members in the county to be attacked by unimaginative decision makers in their hope to cripple and destroy the trade union movement locally,” said Sandra Oxford, UFCW Local 888 Representative.
ABOUT THE HUDSON VALLEY AREA LABOR FEDERATION
Founded in 2001, the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation represents 113,000 union families across seven counties: Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster. Our goal, working with our partner Central Labor Councils (CLCs), is to lay the foundations for a more visible and bold labor movement that reflects the hopes and dreams of working families in the Hudson Valley.